The newest theatrical release of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel “Les Miserables” was released on Christmas, but many Christians are refusing to see the movie. The reason simple — the movie briefly portrays the licentious activities of Fantine, a prostitute. Before her fall into prostitution, Fantine and her child Cosette are abandoned by Cossette’s father. Her reputation makes it increasingly impossible for her to keep a job, and her desperation in caring for her daughter forces her to the streets. First selling her hair, her teeth, and finally her body, she sends nearly everything to support her daughter.
A Prostitute’s Sex Scene
Focus on the Family’s “Plugged In” offered this description of the scene:
“Then the camera takes a bit longer watching Fantine—dressed in a hiked-up, bare-shouldered petticoat—as she and her first sexual customer consummate their transaction with realistic sexual movements. Her pain and despair over what she feels she’s forced to do is so palpable here that it’s nearly as smothering as the grimness of her surroundings and the crudeness of the act itself.”
Hugo’s prostitute is overwhelmingly repugnant. We are given an image of a bald, toothless woman stricken with tuberculosis covered in filth. There is nothing sensual about this sexual experience; she’s not even shown in the nude. In the Broadway versions of “Les Miserables,” a more likable Fantine is stripped on stage and then ushered off.
Which is more appropriate? Read more…